How to Eject USB from Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Ejecting a USB from a Mac is a simple process that helps to prevent data loss or corruption. It’s important to eject your USB properly before physically removing it from your Mac. In this quick overview, you’ll learn the basic steps to safely eject your USB device.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Eject USB from Mac

Before you pull out that USB drive from your Mac, you need to make sure you’ve done it the right way. Here’s how to safely eject your USB without losing your important files.

Step 1: Locate the USB Drive Icon

Find the USB drive icon on your desktop or in a Finder window.

When you plug in your USB, a small icon that looks like a drive should appear on your desktop or in the Finder sidebar. This icon represents your USB drive.

Step 2: Drag the USB Drive Icon to the Trash Bin

Click and drag the USB drive icon to the Trash Bin in your dock.

Dragging the USB icon to the Trash Bin might seem like you’re deleting something, but don’t worry! This is how you eject a drive on a Mac. The Trash Bin icon will change to an Eject icon when you do this.

Step 3: Wait for the USB Drive Icon to Disappear

After dragging the icon to the Trash Bin, wait for the USB drive icon to disappear from the desktop or Finder window.

Once the USB drive icon is gone, your Mac has finished the process of ejecting the drive. It’s now safe to physically remove the USB from your Mac.

After completing these steps, your USB drive has been safely ejected from your Mac. This means that all file transfers have been completed and there is no risk of data loss or corruption.

Tips for Ejecting USB from Mac

  • Always wait for file transfers to complete before ejecting the USB drive.
  • If the USB drive icon doesn’t disappear, try clicking on the Finder window and selecting ‘Eject’ from the File menu.
  • If your USB drive is being used by an application, make sure to close it before ejecting.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut ‘Command + E’ to eject the selected drive in Finder.
  • Ejecting your USB drive before putting your Mac to sleep will prevent any issues with reconnection later.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if it’s safe to remove my USB drive?

It’s safe to remove your USB drive after the drive icon has disappeared from your desktop or Finder window.

What do I do if my Mac won’t eject my USB drive?

First, try closing any applications that might be using files from the USB drive. If that doesn’t work, you can try restarting your Mac and then attempting to eject the USB drive again.

Can I eject my USB drive while my Mac is asleep?

It’s best to eject the USB drive before putting your Mac to sleep to avoid potential issues when you wake up your Mac.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for ejecting a USB drive on a Mac?

Yes, you can select the USB drive in Finder and press ‘Command + E’ to eject.

Can I just pull out the USB drive without ejecting?

It’s not recommended because it can lead to data loss or corruption. Always safely eject your USB drive.


  1. Locate the USB Drive Icon
  2. Drag the USB Drive Icon to the Trash Bin
  3. Wait for the USB Drive Icon to Disappear


Ejecting a USB from your Mac might seem like an insignificant step, but it’s crucial for the longevity and reliability of your data. Taking the time to properly eject your USB ensures that all your files are intact and prevents any damage that could be caused by an abrupt disconnection. Remember to be patient; don’t rush the process by yanking out your USB drive. It’s a matter of a few seconds that can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

Think of your data as passengers on a plane; you wouldn’t want to leave mid-flight without a proper landing, right? The same principle applies when ejecting a USB from your Mac. Treat your data with care, and it will serve you well. So next time before you pull out that USB, ask yourself, "Did I eject this properly?" If not, give it another go. Your data will thank you for it.